RMOW offers rebates on energy assessment program 

Whistler spends $20 million a year on residential energy

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Energy bills through the roof, but no idea why? Wind whistling through the walls and all the nooks and crannies, but not sure what can be done?

The Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW) is offering a new solution to home energy woes.

Homeowners can now apply for the new Residential Energy Assessment Rebate Program.

Through the program, homeowners can receive $250 towards an approximately $350 EnerGuide home-energy evaluation.

"They will find out things like leaks around doors and windows and whether or not their roofs are properly insulated," said Whistler Mayor Nancy Wilhelm-Morden.

The idea behind the program is to tackle the roughly $20 million spent annually on residential energy bills, representing almost one third of the total community energy consumption in Whistler and producing more than 12,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions each year.

The program is available to owners of single-family homes, duplexes and townhouse units within Whistler, and also to individuals currently designing a new home in the municipality.

After the evaluation, homeowners will be able to talk with an energy coach who can explain the findings of the evaluation and suggest the best options for upgrades. The coach can also help guide interested homeowners through the application process of the new Home Energy Rebate Offer (HERO) grant from BC Hydro and FortisBC.

Whistler homeowners can potentially save hundreds, even thousands of dollars through the program by taking the advice gained through the evaluation, and by being able to access further rebates, according to the RMOW release on the program.

Wilhelm-Morden said the program will be able to accommodate 85 homeowners, and will run for the next two years.

The program will cost $100,000 - $40,000 will be provided through a BC Hydro grant and $60,000 from the RMOW reserves.

"We are always interested in reducing our greenhouse gas emissions and assisting people with their demands on energy and this program was available and it seemed like the right thing to do," Wilhelm-Morden said.

The rebate program was created out of homeowner focus groups and a North American review of municipal best practices.

The mayor said she hasn't had an evaluation done on her home, but is planning to.

For more info go to www.whistler.ca/powerdown.

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